Shabwah governorate tightened security measures, particularly in Ataq city, capital of Shabwah, which had witnessed during the last few days many additional security checkpoints and the deployment of hundreds of security forces around the city a day after tribal militias were mustered in the Al-Sa’edd directorate (45 km South of Ataq) to confront elements of Al-Qaeda.
Informed sources told the National Yemen newspaper that during the last four days militias were mobilized in order to confront Al-Qaeda in Shabwa. The militias were largely mustered from 3000 tribesmen from the Al-Awaleq tribe, which resides in Al-Sa’eed directorate.
Military sources said that the movement was divided into 10 units, constituting “Al-Sahawat” militias, the local name for the movement.
Earlier, every militiaman had been given 100 rounds of live ammunition as an initial quantity, as well as amounts of money for unit leaders (200,000 riyals per leader). The militias have also been provided with food stuffs, bottles of mineral water as well as other necessities, which had been distributed by 22 Mechanized Brigade, the regular official military unit stationed in Shabwah governorate.
Another source confirmed that among the missions given to the Al-Sahawat militias, was that after their deployment in various villages, regions and mountains of Al-Sa’eed, was to perform ‘search’ and ‘intelligence’ operations on Al-Qaeda elements, as well as implanting adhesive beacons which would direct military aircrafts towards suspected targets – an operation often referred to as “painting.”
Last Saturday, a number of Al-Sa’eed areas were combed by Al-Sahawat militias, in cooperation with units from the regular army under the command of the Deputy-Chief of General Staff in the Republic of Yemen , Brigadier Qotn, who belongs to the tribes of Aal Salem Bin Dahah, one of the strongest tribes of Al-Awaleq.
Brigadier Qotn is said to be the commander of the military campaign on Al-Sa’eed. At the point of reporting, the results of the militia campaign have yet to be known.